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Strengthening inclusive open data systems in Africa and Southeast Asia

In Africa and Asia, open data is increasingly regarded as an important tool to address complex development challenges. For example, the urgency and scale of the COVID-19 crisis has led some governments to open and share relevant data to enable evidence-based policy, support accurate reporting around the crisis, and inform inclusive social and economic recovery measures. However, there are still many challenges to realizing the benefits of a data-driven approach, including the need to build capacity among key stakeholders, support effective policies and practices, and learn from data innovations. There is a need to specifically address the lack of inclusive, disaggregated data on issues meaningful to women. This project will explore data infrastructure, governance, and use issues, building on the past research and action from the Open Data for Development Network.

In Africa, specific focus will be on building capacity and model policies with governments, availability of data in Africa, and the potential to explore innovative uses, like fighting against corruption. The project will also examine data innovation at the intersections of gender, education, food security, and climate change, with a focus on action to address the challenges brought by COVID-19 and the African locust swarm. Finally, it will explore the role that increased transparency of political party data might play in women’s political party leadership.

In Asia, the project will explore how collaborative approaches to technology development and machine learning can improve parliamentary transparency and access. The project will explore indigenous data sovereignty and management as well as working with women in local communities to use open data to defend their rights to water access and food sovereignty. The project will also support capacity building and data use for governments and civil society stakeholders and contribute to policy approaches to increase transparency and responsible release of high-quality data.

This project builds on the Open Data for Development (OD4D) program, a global network that uses data to promote social good. OD4D is supported by IDRC, Global Affairs Canada, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Katie Clancy
Total Funding
CA$ 668,300.00
Sierra Leone
Open Data for Development
Institution Country
Project Leader
Muchiri Nyaggah
Local Development Research Institute
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Pyrou Chung
East-West Management Institute, Inc.


Training Materials

Open data risk assessment toolkit : version 1.0 - user guide


Indigenous peoples' data during COVID-19 : from external to internal


Monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on civil society organizations in data ecosystems across Sub-Saharan Africa : highlights from a survey of CSOs in data ecosystems across Sub-Saharan Africa


Drivers of data for development : exploring the factors that enable availability and utility of open data for development in Africa